In order to compete for a Tomball Kings baseball team, the student-athlete must be homeschooled in compliance with State of Texas law. For questions concerning legal requirements for homeschooling in Texas, parents or legal guardians (hereinafter “parents”) and student-athletes may wish to consult these resources:
- Home School Legal Defense Association: Texas Homeschool Law;
- Texas Homeschool Coalition: How to Homeschool; and,
- Texas Unschoolers: Texas Homeschool Laws.
In homeschooling their student-athlete, parents may utilize online classes as well as educational opportunities outside their home, including dual-credit programs at local community colleges and cooperative learning arrangements. For purposes of this eligibility standard, however, parents may not cede control of curriculum or graduation requirements to a third party. Parents alone must determine whether the student-athlete has met the requirements for academic advancement or his high school diploma, as applicable.
We do not place any limit on the number of dual-credit hours a student-athlete may receive and welcome our student athletes to pursue associate degrees from their local community college while also fulfilling the high school graduation requirements for their homeschool.
Academic standing requirement
Aside from meeting the curriculum requirements applicable to homeschoolers under Texas law, we do not require our student-athletes to follow any particular curriculum. We do require, however, that our student-athletes follow a written curriculum approved by their parents and maintenance of a written transcript by their parents, documenting their progress with respect to that curriculum for all subjects. In order to be eligible to practice or play with the Tomball Kings, student-athletes must be making satisfactory academic progress with respect to their individual curricula in all subjects, as documented by their transcripts and determined by their parents for coursework in progress. The Kings may request a copy of a student-athlete’s curriculum or transcript at any time to verify compliance.
Academic grade level declaration
We recognize that many homeschooling families deliberately forego the use of traditional grade-level classifications, e.g., “first grade” or “sophomore,” in their homeschooling journeys, but we nonetheless require parents to declare an academic grade level for each student-athlete upon entry to Tomball Kings programs for high school or junior high competition. We do so solely in the interest of fair competition and not as an endorsement of segregating students by age. Most of our opponents will be members either of the University Interscholastic League (“UIL”), the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (“TAPPS”), or the Southwest Preparatory Conference (“SPC”), each of which organization does follow both grade- and age-level guidelines in determining eligibility for athletic competition. Accordingly, in order to ensure that our student-athletes compete at levels of physical development and experience comparable to those of our opponents, we, too, use age and grade levels in determining the eligibility of our student-athletes that are consistent with those our opponents follow.
Grade- and age-level requirements
High school competition
In order to compete in high school baseball, the student-athlete must have a declared academic grade level of ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade and not have (a) reached his 19th birthday on or before September 1 of the current academic year, (b) exceeded four years of high school baseball competition, or (c) graduated from high school.
Junior high competition
In order to compete in junior high baseball games (“interscholastic competition”), the student-athlete must have (a) a declared academic grade level of seventh or eighth grade, (b) not reached his 15th birthday on or before September 1 of the current academic year, and (c) not exceeded two years of junior high baseball competition.
In order to compete in “age-under” baseball competition for the Tomball Kings, when and as offered, all players shall be classified by playing age in accordance with their calendar ages on April 30 of the current academic year.
All student-athletes of high-school grade shall maintain amateur athletic status as that term is defined in Subchapter M, Section 441 of UIL rules, substituting as appropriate for understanding and application “Tomball Kings” for “UIL.”
Participation in other sports activities
During the spring season, no high school or junior high student-athlete may participate in any other baseball program or other activity that conflicts with his team’s practice or game schedule. Athletes participating in spring “age-under” baseball, e.g., 12U, may participate in other baseball programs only with the consent of, and in coordination with, the director of baseball operations.
During summer or fall play, athletes may play for other baseball teams or otherwise participate in non-Tomball Kings baseball programs. More generally, the Tomball Kings encourage athletes to participate in non-baseball athletic activities outside of spring baseball, and to avoid year-round baseball play.